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With 2009 at an end the time has come to look back over things with my personal picks for my favorite films of the year, the biggest disappointments, and a list of promising young directors to watch out for going forward. Please bear in mind that my bottom list is not necessarily what I consider to be bad films (though most of them certainly are) but the films that I was most disappointed by. It's an important distinction. As always it's worth noting that there are both good films (ie Mother) and bad films (ie Giallo) that don't appear because I haven't seen them yet and this is, of course, all purely subjective ...
Todd's Favorite Films Of 2009:
The latest from Lars von Trier is provocative and transgressive in all the right ways. I've been a fan of von Trier from his student days and his return to conventional style »
2009 Screamfest La Awards 2009 Screamfest La: Oct. 16-25 in Hollywood In Tom Six’s The Human Centipede (First Sequence), a German surgeon (Dieter Laser) sets out to merge together three human beings into one by joining them with a single digestive system. To achieve his goal, he conscripts two American girls (Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie) looking for shelter and a Japanese tourist (Akihiro Kitamura) who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), involving a 12-human centipede, is slated for release in 2010. Best Picture: The Human Centipede (First Sequence), Tom Six Best Director: F. Javier Gutiérrez, Tres días / Before the Fall Best Actor: Victor Clavijo, Before the Fall Best [...] »
- Anna Robinson
This scribe hosted last night's ninth annual Screamfest La Award Dinner (along with my lovely co-host Jonna Jackson) at Level 3 in Hollywood, and here's a rundown of those who received awards. (I want to personally thank Screamfest La founder Rachel Belofsky for honoring me with the task - she's asked me back for next year, and we'll be pulling out all the stops for that one).
Best Student Short: Else, directed by Thibaut Emin
Best Short: Prelude to Hell, Harry Doright
Best Editing: Before the Fall, editor Nacho Ruiz Capillas
Best Cinematography: Before the Fall, Dp Miguel A. Mora
Best Screenplay: Hate Night, VJ Boyd & Justin Boyd
Best Actor: Before the Fall, Victor Clavijo
Best Actress: House of the Devil, Joceline Donahue
Best Director: Before the Fall, »
Dread Central was on hand at this year's La Screamfest and caught up with two of the stars of Tom Six's The Human Centipede: First Sequence (review here), Akihiro Kitamura and Ashley C. Williams, who shed a little bit of light on what the sequel The Human Centipede II - The Full Sequence has in store for us.
"The way Tom Six described it to me," says Williams, "was that in the first film he kind of held back, and in the second one he's gonna go full force. When you see the original film, the wheels will start turning and you'll be wondering how he could actually make a sequel to this? I actually don't know what exactly he's going to do, but he said at FrightFest in London that he wants to do twelve parts."
Twelve parts?!? Can our psyches handle twelve parts?!? Look for The Human »
- Uncle Creepy
Dread Central hit last night’s premiere at Screamfest La of the much talked about (and sensationally denigrating) Tom Six-written and directed feature The Human Centipede: First Sequence (review here) in Hollywood, CA, and brought back some ocular candy and video of a pair of the film’s stars.
Chatting with The Human Centipede cast members Akihiro Kitamura and Ashley C. Williams, Dread touched on such topics as the film’s subject matter (a deranged surgeon joins together three people in a ghastly and rather uncomfortable experiment), the challenges the actors faced in assuming their roles, and their potential involvement in the announced trilogy (the sequel, The Human Centipede II - The Full Sequence, is planned for 2010), among other things. No word yet on distribution, but given the reaction of the audience in attendance, this one will undoubtedly appeal to those who embraced such recent and edgy flicks as Martyrs and Inside. »
It begins in standard enough fashion: Two young, pretty, obnoxious women get lost on their way to a party, only to stumble upon an isolated house belonging to a certifiable lunatic. That sums up the first 20-some minutes of Tom Six's The Human Centipede, but once we get that familiar fare out of the way ... we're treated to one of the strangest, creepiest, and most adamantly disturbing ideas in many a moon. Where most horror films would be content to dole out simple scares or gross dollops of gore, The Human Centipede wants to give you about an hour of sustained discomfort. Perhaps "unease" would be a better description, because despite its rather off-putting premise, The Human Centipede is a shockingly »
Directors: Tom Six
Writers: Tom Six
Review by: rochefort
Rating: 7 out of 10
[Editor's note: Another positive review of Tom Six's weirdness, our first being from Frightfest. I've also seen the film and would agree it's good, even though full of plot holes.]
One of the most crowded horror sub-genres is that of the Mad Scientist Movie. It's probably fair to say that at least half of all the scary movies I used to watch on late-night Wtbs (yeah, I know that dates me quite a bit) after my parents had gone to bed were full of wayward men of medicine with superiority complexes. And while most of them were tons of fun at the time, the years haven't been particularly kind to any but the best. For every "Metropolis" or "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", there are a hundred variations where the only real acting requirement seems to be wide, bulging eyes and a white lab coat. "The Human Centipede", directed by Tom Six, is the latest entry in this very crowded category, and was the »
Spoiler Alert: In order to review a movie as bad as this, I'll have to spoil a few things to show just how nonsensical the damned thing is. It takes a lot for me to want to walk out on a movie. I've never actually stood up and headed out the door, and beyond the need to keep my streak alive, I've seen some terribly bad films in my time which has built up mental callouses towards the stuff on the lower end of the spectrum. It never usually enters my mind, but about half way through The Human Centipede (First Sequence), I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to be in the theater anymore. You might assume that's because of the film's gross out concept, but it's actually because the film exhibits terrible writing, directing and execution for a full hour and a half runtime. Two girls (Ashley C. Williams »
- Dr. Cole Abaius
If there's one thing I know about film festivals, it's that being content with having your film play for an enthusiastic audience is for losers. Chugging a beer on stage in front of a cheering crowd after winning is for winners. You can tell that I'm right because the word "winning" is a close cousin of "winners." Celebrating the art of the film is one thing, but damn it, it's about taking home the coveted cup. Two or three nights ago (the details are hazy), Fantastic Fest Co-founder Tim League emceed an awards ceremony that featured some Festival fans, filmmakers and the people who wandered in already inebriated and looking for the karaoke party. You can guess which group I was in, and, yes, I stayed at the ceremony despite a shocking lack of amateurs singing "Baby Got Back." Also, I had to present all of the awards for the Fantastic Features Category. There »
- Dr. Cole Abaius
For those of you who weren't in Austin, TX from September 23-30, you missed out. Fantastic Fest lived up to its name and presented some of the newest, most anticipated, and best films of the year. From the comfort and coolness of the Alamo Drafthouse (which serves Awesome food during movies) to the palatial Paramount Theater, Austin showed that it knows how to treat fans of genre films.
Think about it: Seven days filled with movies like Zombieland, Paranormal Activity, and Survival of the Dead, side-by-side with some truly creative short films, foreign films, low-budget indie movies, and stars, all put within a mile of each other. It was a movie-lover's paradise. But alas, all good things must come to an end (until next year), but not without a few parting shots.
Below are the announced winners of the various Fantastic Fest contests, and while I can't say I agree with all the decisions, »
- Sifu Scott
At a ceremony Monday night hosted by Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League, the festival gave out awards to some of the top films and filmmakers in attendance. Awards given out this year include ones for animated and live action short film, horror and “fantastic” shorts, horror and “fantastic” features and the next wave award which showcases emerging talent.
In addition, in conjunction with G4 TV and writer/director Uwe Boll, the fest gave out the “Filmmaking Frenzy” award for the best video game trailer with a “fantastic” twist. Winners of some of these prestigious awards included the comedic drama Down Terrace, which took home the Next Wave award, Human Centipede, which won for best horror film and Mandrill, which was given the Fantastic Feature award.
Check out a list of all the winners below.
Jury results – Shorts Awards
- Chris Ullrich
Tom Six’s “The Human Centipede” (First Sequence) won best horror feature at the 2009 Fantastic Fest in Austin, while Ernesto Diaz Espinoza’s action-drama “Mandrill” won “Best Fantastic Feature” at the event, which closes Thursday. “Centipede” is a biological horror film in which Dr. Heiter decides to evolve his craft of separating Siamese twins by sewing together living beings Dieter Laser also took best actor in the horror category at Ff. “Mandrill,” … »
Post fest for me here and I'm slowly trying to catch up on the backlog of film news I have.. and I feel like a needle in a haystack. So be patient folks. I'm overworked, underpaid, and I need a real vacation.
Do I really need to introduce this one? We've been following it for a long time, and here's our review.
Internationally respected Siamese twin surgeon Dr. Josef Heiter has a demented vision for mankind’s future existence. He wants to remove human beings’ kneecaps so they have to exist on all fours and then surgically graft them mouth-to-anus to form a centipede chain. When two stranded female Americans arrive at his luxury home-cum-hospital looking for help, his long-gestating plan swiftly moves into chilling action with a shocking force. Kidnapping a third Japanese male tourist he begins the tissue matches, teeth removal and buttock moulding to create his triplet creature. »
Because I’m a sick, unbalanced individual with highly questionable taste in cinema, it’s no surprise that director Tom Six’s upcoming psychological horror outing “The Human Centipede” is very high on my “must-see” list. Maybe it’s the strange sexual subtext, or perhaps it’s the fact that it feels like something Takashi Miike would have crafted early in his career — whatever the perverted case might be, I wish I had the funds to catch it’s scheduled October 18th screening at Screamfest L.A. Damn this recession and it’s tightening of my wallet. I don’t think I have enough plasma to cover the plane ticket, let alone hotel, food, and admission to the festival. Do pawn shops still accept kidneys from healthy white film geeks? I didn’t think so. The official synopsis is impossibly intriguing: Two American girls are on a road trip through Europe. »
We've been hearing a lot of buzz about Tom Six.s The Human Centipede (First Sequence) , which is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit and also playing at Screamfest La on October 18th. And despite reading a basic synopsis (included below), I'm still not 100% sure what to make of this movie, nor do I know what the hell it is I'm seeing in the nasty clip that's made it's way onto You Tube embedded below. Regardless, count us intrigued. Starring Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie & Akihiro Kitamura, The Human Centipede was written and directed by Tom Six. Check out the synopsis and clip below. Synopsis: Two American girls are on a road trip through Europe. In Germany they end up with a broken car in the woods. They search for »
One film causing one hell of a stir on the festival circuit is a bizarre little experience known as >The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (review here). Why, you ask? Shit, man, isn't the title alone enough to get you wondering? You still need more?!? Well then! How about a clip?
The Human Centipede (First Sequence) Synopsis:
Two American girls are on a road trip through Europe. In Germany they end up with a broken car in the woods. They search for help and find an isolated villa. The next day they awake to find themselves trapped in a terrifying makeshift basement hospital along with a Japanese man. A German man identifies himself as a retired surgeon specialized in separating Siamese twins. However his three "patients" are not about to be separated, but joined together in an horrific operation. He plans to be the first person to connect people via their gastric system, »
- Uncle Creepy
It’s hard for me to really be honest about this film. It’s made to disturb and disgust and it succeeds on every point, but I hated it. As a film lover my moral compass was spinning trying to figure out what to think of it. Is it just shocking for the sake of being shocking, and does that make it good or bad?
Let me back up and explain the premise of this little horror film. Human Centipede is the story of 3 completely random strangers getting kidnapped by a mad scientist and are forced to become a creature of disgusting inhuman means. The mad scientist is Dr. Heiter. He’s one of the best surgeons in the world when it comes to separating Siamese twins. Now he’s retired and he’s determined to, rather than separate two or more people, he wants to attach them together. This »
The Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia announces its complete program. There are still a few surprises to be confirmed, like the closing gala, but they have already put together the final list of films that will be screened at Sitges 09. Below you’ll find the titles of each film and their sections as well as links for the films that we have already reviewed here on Sound On Sight. Opening Film [Rec]2. Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró. 2009. Official FANTÀSTIC In Competition Section Accident. Soi Cheang. 2009. Accidents Happen. Andrew Lancaster. 2009. The Children. Tom Shankland. 2008.  Cold Souls. Sophie Bartes. 2009. The Countess. Julie Delpy. 2009. Les Derniers Jours Du Monde. Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu. 2009. Dogtooth (Kynodontas). Yorgos Lanthimos. 2009. Dorian Gray. Oliver Parker. 2009. Enter The Void. Gaspar Noé. 2009. Grace. Paul Solet. 2009.  Heartless. Philip Ridley. 2009. Hierro. Gabe Ibáñez. 2009. La Horde. Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher. 2009. Ingrid. Eduard Cortés. 2009. Kinatay. Brillante Mendoza. 2009. Metropia. Tarik Saleh. 2009. Moon. »
The full lineup has been announced, and among the load of genre fare that's been running the fest circuit are the world premiers of:
Simon Fellows twisted adaptation Malice in Wonderland (trailer)
Along some of our personal favorites:
Black Dynamite (friggin awesome)
Swiss scifi flick Cargo (trailer)
Atm (get it?) horror-comedy The Human Centipede (review)
Full list after the break.
Official FANTÀSTIC In Competition Section
Accident. Soi Cheang. 2009.
Cold Souls. Sophie Bartes. 2009.
Dogtooth (Kynodontas). Yorgos Lanthimos. 2009.
One of the sickest, most disturbing looking films we've seen come along in quite some time, The Human Centipede (stills here), made its debut last week at the Film4 FrightFest, and we've got a review for you that will make your hair stand on end.
From the FrightFest website:
"Outside the more outré work of Takashi Miike and David Cronenberg, you won’t have seen anything quite like Dutch avant-garde artist Tom Six’s totally bizarre off-the-wall oddity. Internationally respected Siamese twin surgeon Dr. Josef Heiter has a demented vision for mankind’s future existence. He wants to remove human beings’ kneecaps so they have to exist on all fours and then surgically graft them mouth-to-anus to form a centipede chain. When two stranded female Americans arrive at his luxury home-cum-hospital looking for help, his long-gestating plan swiftly moves into chilling action with a shocking force. Kidnapping a third Japanese male tourist, »
- Uncle Creepy
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